The “work & care connect” project is based on findings from the “work & care” research and development programme. In the large organisations in which Careum Research conducted representative surveys, the proportion of employees with relatives needing care was at least 12 % in each case. The figures show that when it comes to willingness to care for relatives, there is barely any difference between the sexes. However, there appears to be a significant difference when it comes to workload. Whilst men largely organise care and support work around a full-time job, women leave scope for working part-time. For this reason, when it comes to reconciling work with caring for relatives, a variety of needs-orientated services are essential for people to cope with their various professional and personal lives. Gender-stereotyped imputations of care and support work should thus be avoided and sociocultural inequalities should be reduced.


The “work & care connect” pilot project has developed an innovative approach for a reconciliation arrangement that links the world of work with healthcare. It came up with the idea of an alliance between organisations and care centres, to enable care places to be offered to relatives needing care. In other words, employees would be able to use day and night services in care centres for their relatives needing care, whilst they are at work – similar to how nurseries operate. Experts were interviewed on this subject. Overall, these interviews showed that the idea of the alliance was considered to be interesting, appealing and innovative. However, awareness was lacking on how employers could get involved in the area of reconciling work and care for relatives, in order to support employees. A follow-up project is planned, which will conduct an in-depth investigation of the operational details of specific services with partners.

When it comes to reconciling professional and private life, the alliance between organisations and care centres should thus result in employees with relatives needing care being able to rely on the same support as employees with small, healthy children. In this context, the findings of the “work & care connect” project contribute towards promoting equal opportunities as part of reconciliation.

Project team

Careum Research: Prof. Dr. Iren Bischofberger, Karin van Holten

Duration of pilot project

November 2014–May 2015

External funding

Swiss Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE) as part of the financial support in accordance with the Equality Act


Jähnke, A., & Scherrer, A. (2015). Flexible Tages- und Nachtstätten in Pflegezentren. Clinicum, 12 (4), 57–58. PDF

van Holten, K. (2013). Angehörigenpflege: Männer helfen kräftig mit. Männerzeitung, (4), 36–37. PDF

van Holten, K., Sax, A., & Bischofberger, I. (2014). Vereinbarkeit von Erwerbstätigkeit und Angehörigenpflege als Erfolgsfaktor für die Wirtschaft? Die Volkswirtschaft, (3), 43–45. PDF

Prof. Dr. Iren Bischofberger

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Chronically ill | Age | Care Management | Health | Home care | Interprofessionalism | Nursing | Qualitative research practice | Science | Scientific practice
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